Madison Avenue says Christmas is about presents. Lots of them.
I say that’s a typo. It’s about presence — lots of it. Be present with yourself, loved ones, and each moment you (hopefully) come in contact with someone. Well, anyone for that matter. This is more than sitting next to someone while staring into a device. It’s about being mentally present, focused on your interaction with that person. Giving someone your attention is as true a gift as it gets.
It’s easy to “buy” some thing and hand it to someone or the more recent scenario of leaving it on someone’s desk or at their door. How many obligatory gifts have you received that were a pre-packaged something-for-anyone that you didn’t use? Note: “re-gifting” was created for a reason. Yes, some will say, “It’s the thought that counts.” I counter, “How much thought was there?” A sincere kind word or sentiment means more. At least to me.
More precious and worthy than material gifts, giving time is a gift so large it can’t be wrapped in any box yet overflows the heart. Ask a soldier being deployed or a dying patient. Ask your spouse. Do they wish they had more time? Do you feel overly stressed that there isn’t enough time? Stopping the distraction and being present is the most generous gift of and to thyself. (Hard lesson learned — see prior post “Meager.”)
You can give yourself the gift of time by being in Nature. Whether planting the season’s garden or trekking through the woods, time seems to slow without the constant pings of phones or e-mail. The stillness of Nature’s tranquil beauty reaches the soul. Gift your time by being present with others this holiday season. Play with your children. Visit an elderly person. Smile at the store clerk.
Feel the isolation and loneliness disappear as you put down your device and look into someone’s eyes when they speak to you. Listen to what they have to say. Offer something in return. Maybe it’s just a hug, or thank you to Nature.
Time – The Perfect Gift for You and Everyone on Your List